These are films reviewed on the cult movie podcast Junk Food Dinner ( www.junkfooddinner.com/ ).
The Games...The Romance...The Spirit...Camelot is a state of mind.
George Romero's unusual story of a modern-day Renaissance troupe whose participants follow a medieval code of honor.
One of those crazy and unique movies that it's sort of impossible to rate. On the one hand, George Romero isn't as good a dramatist as he is a genre stylist, so a lot of the scenes in this are hide-under-the-moat embarrassing. But on the other hand it's such a singular vision and exploration of themes that were obviously important to Romero that it's always fascinating (the fact that it's chock full of awesome motorcycle stunts doesn't hurt either).
Also in this movie's favor are two powerhouse performances from Ed Harris and Tom Savini. As ridiculous as this movie gets (and that is a significant figure), they're never anything but committed to their characters.
I love that Romero is so earthy a filmmaker that his idea of glitzy showbiz decadence is a bunch of dudes smashing lamps over each other in a cheap motel room.
A 2 1/2 hour George Romero film about medieval re-enactors including Ed Harris and Tom fuckin' Savini. Instead of horses they ride and joust on motorbikes. I was always going to love this.
I quickly got over how silly this all was by the general awesomeness on display. Great stunts, ace music by Donald Rubenstein (he's even in this one as a cool musician dude serenading Harris) and enough delicious subtext to make up for the last however many dodgy zombie films from George. Well, maybe not quite.
Let us ride to Camelot! It is a silly place.
An utterly unique and deeply personal adventure/drama from George A. Romero about a modern-day traveling Renaissance fair, in which the knights use motorcycles instead of horses, KNIGHTRIDERS is truly a strange bird of a film, but it's one of my all-time favorites.
In his very first leading film role, Ed Harris is characteristically intense and charismatic as the troupe's "King," whose commitment to living by an ancient code comes into conflict with power struggles among the knights and unwanted attention from media.
The cast is awesome and loaded with Romero alums, past and future. In addition to the biggest and most interesting acting role that Tom Savini has ever had (one that makes excellent usage of the FX genius's natural…
Weekly reminder to independent filmmakers: you can make a movie about whatever you want. You could even make a straight-faced epic about a motorcycle riding Renaissance Festival troupe if you thought you could do it with sincerity. George Romero did, and it bears his fascination with turning small communities (be it zombie apocalypse survivors in a shopping mall or Society for Creative Anachronism on Wheels) into microcosms of America at large. Rather than establishing a utopia just to destroy it, here Romero seems more optimistic that staying true and not selling out actually will give a permanency to the ideas espoused by the good king Ed Harris (his best performance?). The temptations of money and fame that plague the troupe…
The best movie ever about a motorcycle-riding medieval faire and its devoted participants (for whom it is a way of life and a guiding code of honor) that is also a metaphor for independent filmmaking and the struggle to keep one's artistic integrity. It's unlikely that there will ever be a more persuasive case for the virtues of LARPing. Love or hate this movie, one can't deny that it fully commits to its subject. Bonus points for including a gay character, the announcer Pippin (Warner Shook); the movie's over 30 years old, and none of the other characters bat an eye at Pippin's sexuality. George Romero deserves a lot of praise not just for the zombies but for the humanist, progressive streak that runs through all of his films. And for opening this movie with a naked Ed Harris standing in a lake and flagellating himself. There's no movie quite like Knightriders, is what I'm saying.
it's hard not to cringe at the excessive dorkiness on display here (not to mention the excessive runtime) even if it is clearly a very personal artistic mission statement from Romero. that's mostly mitigated though by the sheer quantity of insane motorcycle stunts and Ed Harris' total commitment to a performance of a guy's total commitment to a performance.
Picked this up based on the cover art, and the big "George Romero" on the top of the recent blu-ray release. Did not read the back. Expected some sort of Roadwarrior post apocalypse mess, but was rewarded with a very specific genre film about serious renfaire reenactment on motor bikes. Great performances by Ed Harris and Tom Savini. Anarcho Punks Knight Punks!
Based on the description and the Boris Vallejo cover art for the Blu-Ray box, I really expected this to be a goofy, ephemeral, post-70's passion project by George Romero. It's mostly that but still, it won me over by the end of it's two hours and twenty-five minutes. Actually, it's a lot better than a film about a Ren faire on motorcycles has any right to be.
A lot of that is due to a very straight and passionate performance by a young Ed Harris. He gives this production some serious gravitas. Not that it wouldn't necessarily have managed it without him. There's also a decent turn by Tom Savini who, as Romero says in the extras interview, pretty much…
I watched one of George Romero's more unknown films a few days ago that was recently released on blu-ray: KNIGHTRIDERS. It's this weird and wholly committed take on a society built by people who are stuck between exploiting and continuing it's legacy with honor. Also, it's a renaissance fair with motorcycles. So, yeah, strange. Though, Romero fuels this off-kilter story with nice social commentary(gay guy that has to come to terms with his blossoming sexuality, etc) and rich characters. As I was watching i couldn't help but think of films like Almost Famous or Boogie Nights. Surely, not the caliber of those films but there's something to be said about Romero's approach. He presents but doesn't overwhelm. Dramatizes without ever…
Part epic, part offbeat biker flick, and ultimately a story about staying true to yourself and not selling out. One of Romero's most personal movies (along with the 1976 masterpiece Martin), it's filled with surprisingly funny moments, rousing action sequences, and a few striking images that recall the director's better-known work in horror.
Still a beautiful film about outcasts and misfits, loyalty to your friends and to your work. Romero remains one of the great underrated dramatists. This quality is evidenced amply here. The incredible opening sequence establishes every character and their relationships to each other in an economic, but emotionally satisfying manner. The film probably contains the best performances in a Romero film. Tom Savini's work is especially notable and shows that he should really do some more serious acting. There's basically no film that feels like Knightriders. Arthurian legend, independent wrestling promotion, rural Pennsylvania; the mixture of tones elicited from the film's contradictory elements is strange, but it's undeniably evocative.
There isn't a point George Romero ever made that he didn't want to make four or five more times than he had to, and as a result his movies are almost all too long, even the greatest of them. This is no exception.
If you thought you couldn't get enough of seeing knights on motorcycles bash each other with maces, well by golly this one will challenge you. There is a whole lotta that shit in this movie. Maybe this sounds like heaven. There are lots of little B-stories - romances, revenges, redemptions - that fill the time better than the actual action scenes do.
That said, it's quite a rich movie about the difficulty of working for the uncompromising.…
Mad Max meets Excalibur meets Easy Rider! George Romero's only non-horror flick proves to be one of his best. Instead of a silly anachronistic action film like the poster alludes to we're treated with a deeply personal dramatic film that is actually incredibly powerful.
Ed Harris plays the leader of a traveling Renaissance fair that uses motorcycles instead of horses. Along the way he has to deal with personal betrayal, economic hardships, and institutional corruption while trying to hold onto his idealistic Medieval principles that he holds dear. All of this works due to its committed performances by leads Ed Harris and Tom Savini. Even Stephen King has a cameo and unlike "Creepshow" his performance is actually not horrible.
I really like this film...unfortunately, I think many people pass on it. It is a departure for Romero sure, but that is not a bad thing.
A Camelot type of group who performs jousts on motorcycles deals with adversity from every direction...police corruption, corporate pull ins, money, a delusional king, relationships, in-fighting, and their way of life and if it could be sustained...
Think of a Ren Faire and you have the setting...
Ed Harris is great as the King...one of his early roles, his intensity top notch...Tom Savini is really great in this too...there are tons of familiar faces from the Romero "family" as well.
I guess the only downfall is that it is a bit long in the tooth...but other than that, it is a really well made and you can tell that this was really close and personal to Romero.
An 80 minute film somehow expanded to 146, this has moments of genuine interest and the dynamic between the "good" and "bad" guy is interesting in how both have legitimate good and bad sides to them, though this doesn't help in Ed Harris' case as his King of the community is often just an asshole.
Well done action helps smooth the runtime a little but there is a sense that Romero loved what he was shooting so much that he just couldn't bring himself to cut much out. This bloats the film and does real damage to my feelings on it but I'd still recommend it based on the more unique moments conjured in the piece even if some of it is rather absurd.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
- Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight
- Dr. Orloff's Invisible Monster
- RoboCop 3
- Berberian Sound Studio
- The Life of Oharu
- Computer Chess
- Lord of the Flies
- The Act of Killing
Complete list of movies for Essential viewing based on The Dissolve's listings.
In notes you can see links on ordering…
- The Red Dwarf
- Diagnosis: Murder
Like it says. I reckon there are a fair few of these.